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FCT: Concerns as house rent skyrockets in Abuja, stakeholders provide reasons

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Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, are helpless over the soaring cost of rent in the nation’s capital.

This is as some house owners in the capital city blame the high cost of building materials for the troubling situation.

Some landlords complained that while the cost of erecting a new building in Abuja has gone over 200 percent from what it used to be some months ago, maintaining the old ones is no less a task.

According to them, materials used for the construction, development, and maintenance of buildings were no longer affordable in Nigeria.

A building goes through maintenance throughout its lifespan and some landlords say it is no longer an easy task.

A check by Pmnews.ng at different markets where building materials are sold within Abuja, showed that major materials such as, sand, cement, granite, concrete, wood, Plaster of Paris, POP, glass, paint and plumbing materials are now beyond the reach of the ordinary man.

A 50kg bag of cement, for instance, is now sold for N15, 000 and above which is more than three times what it was sold just some weeks back.

Nigerian infrastructure development and economic growth are significantly influenced by the building and construction industry.

Cement is an essential ingredient in the construction of buildings, but DAILY POST understands that many buildings under construction have been abandoned by the owners due to the high cost of this material which now ranges from N10,000 to N15,000 per 50kg, depending on the product.

Flexible binding wires in Nigeria now sell between N8000 to N12,000 while a 10 kg roll costs between N85,500 to N125,000.

A bundle of solid binding wire ranges from N12,500 to N13,800, and a 10kg coil costs between N69,000 and N72,000.

For tiles, 30 × 30 ‌ranges from N12,500 to N13,500; 40 x 40 ranges from N12,400 to N13,800; 30 x 60 ranges from N12,700 to N13,000 while 60 × 60 ‌ ranges from N14,700 to N16,000.

Vitrified tiles within the range of 300×300 pack costs N9000-10,000 while 450×450 pack costs N10,100-12, 500

So are the prices of Polished Porcelain, Steel Rod, Concrete or Granite, Sands

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Building Blocks, Laterite, Roofing Sheets, Woods In Nigeria, Woods, windows, Doors, etc, all on the high side.

Mr Jov Richard, who owns a 16-bedroom apartment at Gudu District of the FCT, told Pmnews.ng that the question of why rent is skyrocketing should not come into play since everyone is already aware of the economic situation in the country.

According to Jov, a Tiv native, “This question shouldn’t be asked at all. Who is not seeing what is happening? How much do you buy a bag of cement today? How much was the nails when I built my house? Do you know how much a block is sold today?

“Please go to the nearest block industry and ask. Have you tried to buy tiles or sand? I wanted to start developing my piece of land in Kuje but had to stop immediately when I heard the current price of cement. Anybody you see building a house now is a politician. So, this question has answered itself.”

Also speaking to Pmnews.ng on the subject matter, National President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, REDAN, Mr. Aliyu Wamakko, blamed the high cost of building materials for the sky-rocking rent in Abuja.

He said, “You see, the high rise in price of everything, including commodities and rent is what we are experiencing now because of the economic downturn. You need to understand that. How can you now sell a bag of cement for N22,000 and expect an affordable rent? So, it is something you cannot even comprehend.

“The high rise of building materials’ price is the cause of the situation. Do you know that some house rents are being paid in dollars? And how much is a dollar to naira now? The exchange rate is what is now adding another problem to the rent issue. Some of the apartments you see are paid in dollars. And the forex is fluctuating to a terrible stage.

“So these are some of the reasons the house rent goes up. And to add to that, there is a lot of house deficit in the country which we feel this government should do something to ameliorate that issue.

“You could remember we have insurgency, banditry and natural disaster like the floods and all these are issues that encourage the house rent to move up.

“Also, these issues are connected to the subsidy removal and it is unfortunate that the government did not prepare well before taking the decision.

“Look at the salary of the workers, N30,000 (minimum wage). How much are they selling a bag of rice? So you should understand. You have house rent to pay, you have feeding, transport, school fees for your children and you need to cloth yourself. How do you think it is possible?

“I call on you people to ask the country, both Christians and Muslims to keep praying for the stability of our country. That is the only way out. For now, nobody can tell you ‘this is the way out.”

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Director of Press, Tony Ogunleye had earlier told DAILY POST that there’s no law in Nigeria regulating how much a landlord decides to collect as rent.

He insisted that rent has always been on the high in Abuja.

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According to him, “Abuja rent has always been high when you compare to places like Lagos and Port Harcourt; it is not something that started today.”

Speaking on unoccupied buildings around the FCT, Ogunleye said that “owners of those empty buildings you see are conducting themselves within the law. They have not gone against the law of the land.

“As far as they are paying their ground rent. Someone can build 10 houses and decides to leave them empty, it’s nobody’s business. They don’t have anything to worry about as much as they are complying with what the government demands of them.”

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